UN chief says Palestinian statehood 'long overdue'

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Palestinian statehood was "long overdue", a day after its leadership launched a campaign to become the world body's 194th member state.

UN chief says Palestinian statehood 'long overdue'

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Palestinian statehood was "long overdue", a day after its leadership launched a campaign to become the world body's 194th member state.

"The two state vision where Israel and Palestinians can live... side by side in peace and security -- that is a still a valid vision and I fully support it," he told reporters in Canberra.

"And I support also the statehood of Palestinians; an independent, sovereign state of Palestine. It has been long overdue."

"But... the recognition of a state is something to be determined by the member states," he added.

"It is not by the Secretary General so I leave it to the member states to decide to recognise or not to recognise."

The United States for the first time on Thursday said explicitly it would use its veto in the Security Council to stop any Palestinian bid for full U.N. membership if the matter went ahead at the next General Assembly, which opens on Sept. 19.

Agencies

Last Mod: 09 Eylül 2011, 15:02
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